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First-time home buyers received welcome news in today’s provincial budget.

The government has announced, effective February 19, 2014, under the Property Transfer Tax (PTT) First-Time Home Buyers’ Exemption program, qualifying first-time buyers can buy a home worth up to $475,000. The previous threshold was $425,000.

The partial exemption continues and will apply to homes valued between $475,000 and $500,000.

More home buyers

With this change, the government estimates 1,700 additional first-time buyers will annually be eligible to save up to $7,500 in PTT when they buy their home.

The government estimates this measure will cost $8 million in lost tax revenue each year.

Lobbying

The Real Estate Board together with BC Real Estate Association has actively lobbied to make home ownership more affordable for first-time home buyers. This increase in the threshold clearly signals our efforts have paid off as in past years.

 

• In 2008, as a result of industry lobbying, the provincial government increased the threshold to $425,000 from $375,000. 
• In 2005, the government increased the threshold to $325,000 from $275,000.

 

The PTT is calculated at a rate of one per cent on the first $200,000 and two per cent on the remaining value of the purchase price.

 

BC logo

 

B.C. First Time Home Buyers' Program Website

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February 3, 2014. VICTORIA, BC Victoria’s real estate market had a solid start in January, re-establishing momentum after the holiday season.

Total MLS® sales in January were 342, a 16.3% increase over January 2013 when 294 units sold. January sales were close to the 355 sales reported to the Victoria Real Estate Board (VREB) in December 2013.

2014 VREB President, Tim Ayres cautioned, “While we’re pleased with the number of sales this January and the percentage increases over January 2013, it’s important to remember that the market last January was restrained under tightened mortgage amortization rules imposed in July 2012.”

The MLS® HPI single family home benchmark price for the entire Greater Victoria region was $481,200 in January, a 1.7% decrease when compared to the January 2013 value of $489,400.

“Market activity increased as the month progressed,” notes Ayres. “With REALTORS® reporting that attractively-priced and well-presented properties are moving quickly.”

At the regional level, the MLS® HPI benchmark price for the single family benchmark home in the Core municipalities was $546,300, an increase of 0.6% over the previous month and a 0.5% decrease over January 2013. In Westshore, the MLS® HPI benchmark price for the single family benchmark home was $404,800, virtually unchanged from December 2013 and a 1.5 per cent decrease compared with January 2013. The MLS® HPI benchmark price for the single family benchmark home on the Peninsula was $497,200 for January, a decrease of 0.5% over the previous month and a 4.9% decrease year-over-year.

There were 3,489 active listings at the end of January, a 10% decrease over January 2013. “Available inventory slowly declined for most of 2013,” says Ayres. “We will continue to monitor this trend and the impact on the market as 2014 unfolds.”

There were 92 condominium sales in January 2014, the same as December 2013 and 81 in January 2013. The region-wide MLS® HPI benchmark price in January for condos was $276,800, down 1.7% from $281,600 from one year ago.

For townhomes, 30 sold in January compared to 32 in December 2013 and 40 in January 2013. The region-wide MLS® HPI benchmark price for townhomes was $398,000, up 0.7% from $395,400 in January 2013.

Total waterfront single family homes sold in January:                      7
Total non-waterfront single family homes sold in January:            186
Total single family homes sold over $1 million in January:               10 (1 over $3 Million)

At the heart of the MLS® HPI is the concept of the “benchmark” home, a notional home that has the most common features of a typical home in a given area. The benchmark home does not represent any actual house, condominium or townhome, but merely provides an identical example to track changes in market value. There are separate benchmark houses, condominiums and townhomes in each distinct area of Greater Victoria, enabling the tracking of values on a variety of geographic levels.

Click for Full Charts and Graphs.

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MLS® property information is provided under copyright© by the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board and Victoria Real Estate Board. The information is from sources deemed reliable, but should not be relied upon without independent verification.